The Cal men’s tennis season enters a sort of holding pattern in between the ITA Northwest Regional Championships and the Indoor Championships, but a few of the Bears players have kept busy in some professional tournaments and their last invitational tournament of the fall season.
The Bears surged to a very impressive finish at the Regional Championships after an up-and-down early fall slate, and their results since make it look like they’ll be keeping the ball rolling going into Indoors and the spring season.
Senior Andre Goransson, the No. 17 singles player in the nation, was looking to make his claim as a top-shelf player coming off a championship at the Northwest Regionals and came tantalizingly close to two more titles. First, playing at home for the Berkeley Futures, a pro tournament played on the same courts that he had just won his title on, Goransson made an impressive run to the singles final. He made quick work of sophomore teammate Bjorn Hoffmann in the Round of 16 in a 6-2, 6-2 match before taking on pros Michael Geerts and Lucas Gomez in the next two rounds. Even against pro competition, Goransson did not flinch, only dropping seven games and no sets to reach the finals.
“I played a lot of matches in the regionals, and I only got one day off, so I kept things going,” Goransson said.
Marcos Giron, a 23-year-old UCLA product who has reached No. 368 in the world just edged out Goransson in an incredibly tight 5-7, 7-6(5), 6-4 match. Undeterred, Goransson moved right onto the Burlingame Futures and made it to the quarterfinals by defeating Gomez for the second time in a week. This time around it was pro Mico Santiago who proved to be the superior player in another three-set match: 6-3, 6-7(1), 6-1.
The doubles duo of seniors Florian Lakat and Filip Bergevi continues to stake its claim as the best in the nation after coming into the season ranked No. 2 and winning the All-American championships. They suffered a three-set loss to the first-seeded duo in the Berkeley Futures doubles draw, pros Connor Smith and Rhyne WIlliams. Bergevi and Lakat also made the semifinals of the Burlingame Futures before withdrawing due to injury. The pair is a good enough team to compete for a title in any tournament they play, but it’ll settle for holding strong against such strong competition.
A few of the younger players on the roster also participated in the Saint Mary’s Invitational. Freshman Nic Barretto took his first career title in the C singles draw and took third place in the B doubles draw partnered with sophomore Gunther Matta.
“The key thing is to stay confident and trust their training and that all the hard work they’ve put in will pay off in these matches,” said Cal associate head coach Tyler Browne. “These guys are playing against players who are a little bit older, but our guys are just as good. We just had to believe that we belong.”
Andrew Wild covers men’s tennis. Contact him at [email protected].